The US Army has awarded a $577m contract to Northrop Grumman to develop an integrated air and missile defence battle command system (IBCS), which will allow forces to use any sensor and any weapon to achieve mission objectives.

Missile defence systems that will be integrated via IBCS include Patriot, Surface-Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor and Improved Sentinel radar.

IBCS is a system that integrates current and future air and missile defence systems, allowing soldiers to use any sensor and any weapon in a true open-architecture environment, enabling them to make better decisions on the battlefield.

Under the five-year contract the company will develop IBCS based on an open architecture approach that establishes a network-centric system-of-systems solution for integrating sensors, weapons and battle management command, control, communications and intelligence systems.

Additional missiles could include Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense and Medium Extended Air Defense System if the US defence approves the inclusion.

The IBCS is being developed by a Northrop-led team that includes The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Harris Corporation, Schafer Corporation, nLogic, Numerica, Applied Data Trends, Colsa Corporation and Space and Missile Defense Technologies.

The IBCS is expected to enter service with the US Army by 2014.